Srinagar, Nov 29: Getting to Naveed Jatt, one of the most dreaded terrorists in the Valley was not easy. On Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir police along with a team of the 35 Rashtriya Rifles managed to kill Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander, Naveed Jatt and his associate.
Jatt was wanted in the killing of several civilians, police personnel and noted journalist Shujaat Bukhari. Officials part of the operation tell OneIndia that the hunt for Jatt was on for a long time. He had become dangerous and getting to him was on their top priority.
There was concrete intelligence available that Jatt and his associates had holed themselves up at the Kutipora village in Budgam.
They had intentionally taken shelter in a congested area, knowing fully well that any operation against them would have had to be a restricted one, the officer explained. Since it was a congested area, the security forces could not use IEDs to blast the house.
The security forces then decided to set ablaze the house that they were staying in. As the fire raged on, the terrorists including Jatt came out. Once they were out, the forces managed to gun them down.
The police in a statement said that the Cordon & Search Operation (CASO) was launched in the pre-dawn hours. As searches were going on, militants hiding in a house opened fire on the search party. The fire was retaliated and two militants were killed in the ensuing gunfight, police said. Three Army soldiers sustained injuries during the gunfight, the police statement added.
Why killing Jatt is a big deal:
He went by the alias Abu Hanzalla. He was part of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and hailed from Pakistan. He was graded Category A++.
Jatt, according to the police was the person who opened fire on Bukhari on June 14 2018. The plan to kill the journalist was hatched in Pakistan by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
It may be recalled that in March, he had escaped from the SMHS hospital.
Jutt it may be recalled had escaped after attacking a police escort party on February 6 2018, when he was being taken for medical examination at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar.
Two police personnel were killed in the incident. The NIA found that it was a well planned criminal conspiracy. Investigation revealed that the accused conducted meetings in the Central Jail, Srinagar on different dates before the incident and a comprehensive plan was made to effect the escape Jatt.
As per the plan, the accused conducted a detailed recce of the SMHS Hospital as well as routes to be followed before and after the action. They also arranged vehicles and weapons to be used in execution of the plan. During investigation, accused the four persons mentioned in chargesheet were arrested.
Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that this is a major hit. Jatt's escape and breathed life into the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. He was constantly recruiting and posed an immense threat. For several months now, the local police, Army and the Intelligence Bureau worked on the leads, following which they were able to zero down on his location. His death will be a major blow to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the officer also informed.